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Fork-n-seal
#770155 04/04/19 11:28 pm
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nert Offline OP
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Hi guys.
1966 BSA Lightning.
I have leaking fork seals, gators feel like Jello. Disassembly reveals some water in the forks. Fork tubes have some "pits" due to the water. See photo. Anybody ever try to solder the cavities and emery smooth? OR J-B Weld? some other suggestion? I don't want to weld and machine to standard. The bike may see 2-3 thousand miles a year at most. Or just assemble with new seals, and smile as I ride?

thanks

[img]https://www.dropbox.com/s/hdfv8gted7t1m0y/fork.JPG?dl=0[/img]

Last edited by nert; 04/04/19 11:31 pm. Reason: add photo

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Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770163 04/05/19 1:06 am
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Never done it myself but several people have reported success by degreasing thoroughly the affected area and then filling the holes with body filler and after curing sanding down to blend in with the metal stanchion.
If you fit gaiters then the "repair" is not seen.
If you fit gaiters then make a hole in the gaiter at the bottom at the back.
For the purists the hole allows air in and out during operation.
For the practical guys among us it pumps out the water that collects in the gaiters.
HTH

Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770166 04/05/19 1:28 am
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I suggest you buy all new parts. They are available Emgo has hard chromed tubes, seals bushing etc.

Re: Fork-n-seal
Richard Phillips #770203 04/05/19 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Richard Phillips
I suggest you buy all new parts. They are available Emgo has hard chromed tubes, seals bushing etc.


+1

I tried to solder a set up on a bantam at one time, in the end ended up replacing them, on a bike with some weight to it I wouldn't p*** about with corroded stancions.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770211 04/05/19 5:19 pm
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The photos that nert posted show stanchions where the rust has affected the structural integrity of the stanchion to an insignificant extent.
So a repair to enable the seal to work properly is perfectly OK.
You don't always have to replace something faulty with something new.
Repairs are very legitimate in some circumstances and this IMHO is one of them.

Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770230 04/05/19 7:50 pm
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A new set of stanchions is about £70, hardly going to break the bank


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Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770252 04/05/19 11:30 pm
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When I started maintaining these bikes in England some 50+ years ago there was little money for new parts and repairs of this type were commonplace.
No safety issues involved and perfectly acceptable IMHO.
Also a certain amount of satisfaction in repairing something rather than just replacing with new parts.
Just my two cents worth of course.

Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770253 04/05/19 11:37 pm
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So I did a search for the tubes, and have found "cheap" sets, Taiwan, for about $100.00. I have found UK made for about $200.00 a set. What did you guys buy??
I was encouraged by "Tridentman", and decided I have nothing to loose by attempting a repair to something that's already broken. So this photo reveals my first attempt with solder. Not bad, could get better, and I will get better as I develop experience and technic. This exercise will add to my arsenal of skills I learned over the past 50 years as a mechanic.
I think what I need to do before the solder application is to file the damaged areas clean, down to fresh steel, better prep.

[img]https://www.dropbox.com/s/bxllg9bsied8rh6/Fork2.jpg?dl=0[/img]



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Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770255 04/05/19 11:42 pm
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How do I put a photo in the post, instead of a link to a photo?


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Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770259 04/06/19 12:16 am
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Originally Posted by nert
How do I put a photo in the post, instead of a link to a photo?



You probably only need to copy the code or address from dropbox and simply right click and paste it into your post instead of using the insert a link function.




Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
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1971 BSA A65 650 - Project
1972 Norton Commando 750 "Combat"


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Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770273 04/06/19 3:02 am
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Looking promising, Nert!
Joooisey repairs rule OK!

Re: Fork-n-seal
Tridentman #770472 04/08/19 10:55 am
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Forget solder and lead wipe.
It is a lot easier than most think and you will end up with a skill that will allow to to make exceptional repairs to all sorts of tinwear like oil & fuel tanks.
The trick is really cleaning the surface.
Use some thing like a soda blaster followed by a vinegar rinse then pannel butter .
Everything you need is available from Eastwoods in the USA .
Solder does not take to steel very well which is why you have plumbers solder, radiator solder & electrical solder.

You can make a soda blaster with a pop bottle & an air duster, I have a couple and use them regularly with standard animal feed soda.
Blasting soda does a better job so when I have gone through the 25 kg bag I will try some now I have prooved the el cheapo gun works.
The one thing the you tubers failed to mention is you have to invert the gun when ever you stop the air flow or the contents will just pour our of the air duster as it slightly pressurizes the soda bottle.
I also use some hot melt glue to make a better seal between the soda bottle & the air duster.


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Trevor
Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770487 04/08/19 1:49 pm
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+1 on the cleanliness point .
There are two prerequisites to a good solder joint.
Firstly cleanliness as previously noted.
And secondly temperature.
You have to get the substrate (the bits you are soldering) to the correct temperature so that the solder flows.
If the temperature is too low you will get "dry" joints--the solder has not bonded molecularly to the base metal and the joint will have little strength and will become detached easily.
If this is your first real soldering job then practice on a piece of scrap metal--you will soon get the hang of achieving the right combination of cleanliness and temperature.
BTW--I speak with a little bit of experience.
Many moons ago I used to be the Chief Engineer of a large radiator manufacturing company in UK--when radiators were soldered together from brass, copper and steel.
HTH

Re: Fork-n-seal
Tridentman #770647 04/10/19 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by Tridentman
+1 on the cleanliness point .
There are two prerequisites to a good solder joint.
Firstly cleanliness as previously noted.
And secondly temperature.
You have to get the substrate (the bits you are soldering) to the correct temperature so that the solder flows.
If the temperature is too low you will get "dry" joints--the solder has not bonded molecularly to the base metal and the joint will have little strength and will become detached easily.
If this is your first real soldering job then practice on a piece of scrap metal--you will soon get the hang of achieving the right combination of cleanliness and temperature.
BTW--I speak with a little bit of experience.
Many moons ago I used to be the Chief Engineer of a large radiator manufacturing company in UK--when radiators were soldered together from brass, copper and steel.
HTH


Where you used Radiator solder around 30% Sn with 2% copper & 0.5% iron.
A brew that joe average can not get their hands on.
Back in the eary days at Sims Metal we made a different custom solder for just about every radiator repir shop in the state.
They all had their own "secret" formula but all were a variation on a 70-30


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Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770818 04/12/19 3:11 am
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Hi Trevor---I am not a metallurgist--just a simple thick mechanical engineer.
From memory the soft solder used in radiator manufacture was 64:36 (lead:tin).
It was easy to solder with in large scale manufacturing.
Now for a little story:-
In the 1970s we were supplying medium speed diesel engines (5-15000hp) fitted with alternators to generate electricity in the Middle East.
Each engine had 5 cooling systems---injector water, valve cage water, normal block cooling water, lubrication oil and turbocharger air cooling.
All the cooling systems were large horizontal radiators with electric motor driven fans underneath--fans normally 60" diameter.
A big engine would have cooling systems covering a quarter of an acre.
The cooling elements were brass tubes onto which were soldered copper fins.
Now the crucial system was the charge air cooling.
Today you have turbocharged car engines with perhaps 7 psi of boost.
Back in the 70s we were running these big diesels at about 30 psi boost.
These diesels are rated at 100% load continuous but at 110% of rated output for one hour in 24.
But in the Middle east in the 70s the demand for power was so great that these engines were run at 110% load continuously.
The combination of overload, high boost pressures and high ambient temperatures (up to 125F) had some interesting consequences.
One was a phone call I received in England from a service engineer in Dubai.
"You better get out here, Richard" he said--" The solder is melting on the charge air coolers and dripping into the sand".
So we needed a higher temperature solder to solve the problem.
Looking at the liquidus and solidus temperatures of different solder compositions it seemed that 5% tin and 95% lead would give us the temperature capability (and also be cheaper solder).
We tried soldering with it in the lab and it worked OK--not as easy as 64:36 but certainly usable.
But how can a 5% tin solder work OK we asked ourselves.
We then sponsored some work at the British Association for Brazing and Soldering based at The Welding Institute near Oxford.
To cut a long story short we found out that all tin/lead solders work by forming a very thin layer just a few molecules thick where the solder is attached to the base metal.
This thin layer is about 95% tin.
Whatever the solder composition you put into a bath tin is preferentially attached to the base metal in this very thin interface layer.
So we used the 5% tin solder and our charge air coolers never dripped solder again!
Sorry to bore you!



Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770844 04/12/19 12:47 pm
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Not boring at all. That's cool. No pun intended. Many of us don't get to see or even realize an engine cooling system the size of a 1/4 acre. thanks for sharing.


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Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770897 04/12/19 11:31 pm
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wait, if the tin forms a boundary layer, you're saying that the lead is a big thick middle pancake that just holds two separate tin layers together, with the tin attached to the base metal and the lead?

else where does all the lead go?


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Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770903 04/12/19 11:57 pm
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I'm sure TM didn't mean to suggest a separation of the tin from the lead, it is only a small amount of tin from the alloy required to bond with the metal surface (as he said a few molecules (atoms?) thick). This would only very slightly change the composition of the bulk of the solder (which is a multitude of atoms thick).
Interesting knowledge, it suggests the tin acts like a primer, funnily enough the term is "tinning" to prime a solder joint.

Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770904 04/13/19 12:19 am
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On the OP's original enquiry regarding pitted forks, I dealt with this problem on my 1975 GT500 Suzuki. By the early 90's, there were several deep failures in the chrome plating wrecking the seals. They all seemed to happen in a short space of time, so suddenly I had an MOT problem.
I carefully cleaned all corrosion away with needle files, fine wire brushes, petrol and finally meths and acetone.
Then filled with slow Araldite, thoroughly worked in.
Then very carefully eased down with fine W&D. New seals and gaiters (because repairs must not be visible).
No further problems during the next 7 years, when I parted with the bike.

Cheap and cheerful, but it worked.

Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770923 04/13/19 6:56 am
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More useless info, to prep the steel for the Whitemetal lining being poured molten on to the steel it was first run through a bath of molten tin. If this tinning was not done the Whitemetal did not get a good enough bond to the steel.

Re: Fork-n-seal
koan58 #770932 04/13/19 12:30 pm
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I am not familiar with the product. Araldite. Seems similar to JB Weld. I went through the Araldite menu driven product selection configurator. If its as good as the claims and testimonials say it can fix darn near anything. Someone should start a post on the stuff and share their experiences.

Last edited by nert; 04/13/19 12:35 pm.

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Re: Fork-n-seal
nert #770955 04/13/19 9:20 pm
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Kevin---just about correct--except as Koan says--the interfac3e tin rich layer is very thin so the bulk solder between the two parts being joined still has tin in the lead--juast not quite as much as you put in the bath originally--due to the slight reduction in tin in the bulk solder to provide the very thin tin rich layer at the interface.

Nert-- Araldite was/is a two part epoxy (originally made by Ciba-Geigy in Switzerland).
I used it quite often when I was living in England. I guess it is still available.
Living in US now my experience with JB Weld is that it is very close to Araldite and I certainly use JB Weld as I would have used Araldite in UK.
HTH

Re: Fork-n-seal
Tridentman #771008 04/14/19 1:36 pm
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Trident,
You are never going to bore me talking about metal and in particular foundry & solidification .
Contry to popular belief , any molten metal applied to another metal stratifies during solidification
We call it dendritic segregation to sound impressive.

Kevin.

What happens is the tin comes out of solution first, depleting the molten metal of some of the tin.
So you get a layer of almost pure tin which dissolves into the steel for a few nano meters creating a new tin/steel interstitial solid solution alloy
Lead can not do this as the crystal structures are incompatiable and lead is insoluable in iron ( or steel ) at all temperatures both solid & liquid.
Now because tin & lead are soluable in each other, the layer of tin right next to the tin/steel alloy forms an alloy with the lead .

If you cut the soldered joint in 1/2 and did a micro analysis of the cross section, the outer edge would be approx 1% tin and would get very slowly , progressively more tin rich till you get to around 99% tin at the tin/steel interface then tin iron.


When you lead wipe steel you coat the surface with a product called pannel butter.
It is a mix of tin oxides and nitrates. usually Sodium + Potassium
When you heat the "butter, the nitrate first cleans the surface then reduces the tin oxide to tin metal which coats the steel with a very thin layer of pure tin.
About 1/3 of the tin layer dissolves into the steel and makes the bonding layer.
You then melt the lead filler ( around 5% tin ) onto the tin layer already on the steel to build up the fill layer .

The fact that lead is insoluable in iron was used to purify iron and remove tin from scrap melts.
The down side is the lead should burn off , but does not and ends up as a super heated molten layer in the bottom of the furnace which eventually floats the floor bricks.

Radiator solder is usually kept molten in an iron pot and the small amount of iron in the solution slows down the dissolution of the iron from the pot into the molten solder.
The copper is there for the same reason, to prevent dissolution of the copper irons by the solder.
It also provides seeds for solidification so the joint is stronger earlier so the two parts stay together till the entire solder layer has solidified.

All this appears to be backwards when you are looking at the binary phase diagrams we learned about in high school
But the solder metal inerface is a ternary situation Sn-Pb-Fe and the same for the tip of the soldering iron Sn-Pb-Cu for a micron or two as the molten soldr dissolves into the steel.
All theory when I first learned about it then electron microscopy and micro spectrum analysis became available to prove the theory.

When done properly a lead wiped surface will be far more sound that the original electro plating and a whole lot easier than trying to solder directly onto steel.


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Trevor

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